Prevalence and social environment of cigarette smoking in Cyprus youth

Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health in association with Harvard School of Public Health, Nicosia, Cyprus.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.26). 06/2008; 8(1):190. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-190
Source: PubMed


Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. Limited data exist regarding the extent of the problem among Cyprus youth. We use the Global Youth Tobacco Survey to assess the prevalence of cigarette smoking among middle and high school students as well as the social environment in which this is taking place.
The survey was conducted by the Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health in association with Harvard School of Public Health. A two-stage cluster sample design was used to select a representative sample of students from middle and high schools registered with the Republic of Cyprus in 2005-2006. The study questionnaire consisted of 99 questions and participation in the survey was voluntary. Statistical analyses were performed taking into consideration the specific design of the study and the sample weights associated with each completed questionnaire.
The prevalence of current smoking, defined as having smoked cigarettes on one or more days of the past 30 days, is 13% among boys and 7% among girls in middle schools, and 36% among boys and 23% among girls in high schools. Furthermore, 16% of middle school students and more than 24% of high school students that had never smoked indicated that they are likely to initiate smoking within the next year. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is also very high with 91% of students reporting being exposed to smoke in places outside home. In addition, more than 95% of current smokers reported that they had bought cigarettes in a store during the past month and were not refused cigarettes because of their age.
Smoking prevalence among Cyprus middle and high school students is high and there are indications of an increase in the prevalence of smoking among girls over the last few years. Susceptibility rates, exposure to second-hand smoke, and access to and availability of cigarettes to youth are also high and concerning. The present survey indicates that the problem of cigarette smoking among youth in Cyprus is significant and requires collective action immediately.

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    • "(Though more recent data is not available, there is no evidence that these estimates have decreased.) Furthermore, Cyprus has one of the highest levels of cigarette consumption among EU member nations with prevalence rates being high among adults and youth alike, being 38.1% among adult males (daily smokers) and 35.7% among high-school boys (defined as having smoked on at least 1 of the last 30 days) and 10.5% among adult females (daily smokers) and 23.2% among high-school girls (defined as having smoked on at least 1 of the last 30 days) [29,30]. Unfortunately, smoking is still socially acceptable in Cyprus and several factors have been cited previously to be associated with the high prevalence of smoking among youth, including peers smoking, availability of pocket money, false consensus, and others [31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Several countries, including Cyprus, have passed smoke-free legislations in recent years. The goal of this study was to assess the indoor levels of particulate matter in hospitality venues in Cyprus before and after the implementation of the law on 1/1/2010, evaluate the role of enforcement, and examine the legislation’s effect on revenue and employment. Methods Several hospitality venues (n = 35) were sampled between April 2007 and January 2008, and 21 of those were re-sampled after the introduction of the smoking ban, between March and May 2010. Data on enforcement was provided by the Cyprus Police whereas data on revenue and employment within the hospitality industry of Cyprus were obtained from the Cyprus Statistical Service; comparisons were made between the corresponding figures before and after the implementation of the law. Results The median level of PM2.5 associated with secondhand smoking was 161 μg/m3 pre-ban and dropped to 3 μg/m3 post-ban (98% decrease, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, in the year following the ban, the hotel turnover rate increased by 4.1% and the restaurant revenue by 6.4%; employment increased that same year by 7.2% and 1.0%, respectively. Conclusion Smoke free legislations, when enforced, are highly effective in improving the air quality and reducing the levels of indoor PM2.5. Strict enforcement plays a key role in the successful implementation of smoking bans. Even in nations with high smoking prevalence comprehensive smoking laws can be effectively implemented and have no negative effect on accommodation, food, and beverage services.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · BMC Public Health
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    • "considerable numbers of all students under study had still been exposed to secondhand smoke at home (cigarette: 19.8% and water pipe: 7.7%). A lot of studies [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] reported high exposure to secondhand smoke among students. There are 3 billion passive smokers in the world with one fourth of them younger than 14 years of age and most of these children are involuntarily exposed to the cigarette smoke even before birth [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: smoking is a very important public health problem, urgently requiring immediate and effective measures due to its harmful effect on health. The purpose of this study was to collect baseline information about the magnitude of smoking problem, knowledge, attitude, and practice among family members of primary school students in the northwest region of Iran. Methods: of 55 680 primary school students (the 3th, 4th and 5th grades), 7.1% (n=3 954) were selected using randomized multi-stage cluster sampling. Data collection was conducted in April, May, and June 2011, by means of a self-administered two-page questionnaire. Results: a total of 3 954 students (57.6% boys and 42.3% girls) with the mean age of 10.46±1.09 years were evaluated. According to our data, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among fathers was more than other family members (27.1% versus 17.8%) whereas the prevalence of water pipe smoking among fathers and other family members was almost similar (9.2% and 9.7% respectively). None of the smoking type was prevalent among mothers (cigarette: 1% and water pipe: 1.1%). Considerable numbers of all students under study had been exposed to secondhand smoke at home (cigarette: 19.8% and water pipe: 7.7%). ConclusionS: considering our findings, two procedures recommended to prevail the problem are to provide greater education about hazards of tobacco consumption among students and their family; and to legislate new laws by officials to ban tobacco use at home.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013
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    • "The reasons for this are briefly elaborated below. Cyprus, like other societies, faces a number of social and health-related problems such as increased reported rates of smoking, alcohol use, sexually transmitted diseases and delinquency (the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), 2000; Papadopoulos and Constantinopoulos, 2005; ASTRA Network, 2006; Bathrellou et al., 2007; Stylianou, 2007; Christophi et al., 2008; Lazarou et al., 2008; Lazarou et al., 2009; Karekla et al., 2009 "
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    ABSTRACT: curriculum in Cyprus, which aspires to enable not only teachers, but also all the school personnel, to work from the perspective of health promotion. It is a curriculum which moves from the traditional approach of health education focusing on individual lifestyle/behaviour modification into approaches that recognise and tackle the determinants of health. Design/methodology/approach – The paper critically discusses the structure and the content of the learning objectives of this curriculum that encourages teachers to work in a health promoting way. Findings – The central goal of this curriculum is to enable students and schools to act as health agents, addressing the structural determinants of health and promoting environmental changes. The optimum level for all topics of the curriculum is achieved through learning objectives, which concern three interconnected levels. These are: “investigating determinants of health”, “practising action competency skills for health” and “achieving changes in favour of health”. All levels are means as well as end products in terms of the curriculum objectives. Practical implications – Theoutcomeof thedevelopment of the health education curriculum acts asa guide for school interventions, through a methodological framework, which encourages participants to identify and promote environmental changes that facilitate healthy choices. This is of significance to those working in the field of health promotion and who seek to establish a new language of health promotion that goes beyond the pervasive discourse of individual lifestyles. Social implications – The implementation of the particular health education curriculum will promote not only health in the school community but also in the local community. This is because a key principle which underlies the curriculum is the involvement of the students, school staff, family and community in everyday health promotion practice. It also promotes the development of partnerships among them. Originality/value – This is an innovative curriculum for Cyprus, based on health promotion and health education principles, but at the same time taking in account the local socio-cultural and political perspective. This curriculum may be applicable to other European countries.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Health education
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